A few years ago, Apple completely overhauled the notification centre and thus also buried the widgets previously available there. With iOS 15, the widgets moved to the homescreen, but had a big problem there until now: they did not allow any interactions without opening the associated app. Since then, there has been no Philips Hue widget for iPhone and iPad.
Yesterday evening, Apple announced its new operating systems, including iOS 17 for the iPhone and iPadOS 17 for the iPad. With the new systems, which will launch next month as a public beta, there will also be interactive widgets, among other things. On the iPad, the widgets can even be displayed on the lock screen.
Here’s what Apple has to say about the new interactive widgets
“Widgets will become interactive in iPadOS 17 (and iOS 17), allowing users to complete tasks with just a tap,” Apple writes. “For example, you can turn on the lights, play a song or mark a reminder as done right from a widget. And with updates to WidgetKit, development teams can make their widgets interactive.”
This means the ball is now in the court of Philips Hue’s software team, who have until the launch of the new systems in autumn to develop a corresponding function. It would be possible to control individual lights and rooms, or to activate scenes. In addition, Apple offers widgets in different sizes so that the homescreen can be configured as the mood takes you – if the app offers the corresponding possibilities.
I have already knocked on Stefan Göhler’s door, the developer of the popular iOS application iConnectHue. He also followed last night’s keynote with interest and is happy about the new possibilities. The interactive widgets are definitely on his radar and he is already gathering initial ideas for a corresponding integration. Fortunately, there are still a few months to go before things get really serious.